The venue is the Delaware Chancery Court. The judge is Kathaleen McCormick. The parties are Elon Musk and Twitter.
If high-profile court cases can be like the World Series, this has the potential to be an instant classic.
Whether Musk will become Mr. October remains to be seen. There’s a lot of work to be done and it all began on Tuesday.
Of course, it was supposed to begin on Monday. Musk’s legal team was frustrated by the last-minute cancellation of Twitter’s CEO. Parag Agrawal did not sit for his scheduled deposition on Monday, even though Musk’s lawyers argue the date was confirmed.
If the parties can’t reach a settlement over the next few weeks, Musk and Twitter are scheduled to begin trial in Delaware just around a week before the actual World Series begins next month.
On Friday, Musk sought and failed to block the entirety of Twitter’s claims of attorney-client privilege on all of the communications Musk wants to enter into the legal record.
Tim George, a Pennsylvania lawyer, observes, “To use the baseball analogy, Musk’s request for a blanket waiver, applicable to all documents where Twitter claims lawyer-client communication privilege, was him swinging for the fence with little chance of making contact with the ball.”
One of the first Twitterati to unwillingly hit the public spotlight was Jack Dorsey. The co-founder of Twitter and former CEO was scheduled to be deposed on Tuesday in what was a very interesting business and personal dynamic.
Musk has a friendship with Dorsey, who allegedly encouraged him to buy Twitter. However, the notion that Dorsey’s deposition is going to substantively help Musk in any way is completely illogical, as there is no way that Dorsey is going to paint Twitter, which he was running, in a negative light and even potentially self-incriminate in so doing.
Friends and allies are great, but we’re about to see their limit in a court of law with tens of billions of dollars on the line.
John Lawlor, a Florida lawyer, adds, “For a case that’s going to be so public and widely followed around the world, there are investors and others involved with Twitter who prefer to keep a very low profile but will be dragged into the proceedings. This is going to push a lot of people’s comfort levels.”
Realistically and strategically, the rest of September may see both Musk and Twitter trying to figure out how significant the other side’s bark and bite actually are. The rest of the month will also provide ample opportunities for both sides to test Judge McCormick to see how much leeway she is going to allow in this case.
This week is going to kick off a month of positioning in which both Musk and Twitter are going to work as hard as they possibly can to convince the other side that they don’t want to take this to trial. While we don’t know how well that will go for either side, what we know for certain is that the stakes in this case are remarkably high.
The parties aren’t just fighting to recoup or retain money in a breach of contract issue; they each believe they’re fighting for something much greater here.
Love or hate Twitter, it is the world’s most powerful and influential social platform. Twitter’s future, how it operates, and what kind of company it’s going to be will be impacted by the result of this case.
Twitter has been a mess since Musk entered the picture. The Tesla CEO has provided the service or disservice of peeling back some layers on Twitter’s operations.
As the Twitter whistleblower’s claims against the company are in our ongoing news cycles, the question moving forward is how Twitter can recover from this perfect storm of perfectly horrible news.
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